5 Beautiful Reasons to Visit Mirabell Palace & Gardens

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As a wanderer, I love how picturesque Mirabell Garden is, from its exquisitely designed garden to its stunning marble hall! And I believe it’ll also inspire you to take more than a dozen photos when you visit. Mirabell Palace is so aesthetically appealing that it was selected as a filming location for the classic movie.

In my opinion, Mirabell Palace is not only one of the most notable historical landmarks in Salzburg, but it’s also undoubtedly one of the most beautiful. Every walking tour of Old Town Salzburg isn’t complete without it.

Needless to say, Mirabell Palace is a must-see in Salzburg. Like Hohensalzburg Fortress, Salzburg Cathedral, and Mozart’s Birthplace, it is a highlight of Salzburg as a travel destination. It’s a place that every traveler shouldn’t miss on their trip to Salzburg, whether it’s a short one-day visit (a day trip from Vienna), a two-day stay, or a three-day getaway.

So, let me show you the most beautiful parts/features of Mirabell Palace that I discovered during my exploration — the reasons to visit Mirabell Palace.

Interesting Facts about Mirabell Palace

Today, Mirabell Palace stands as a cultural heritage monument in Salzburg and shares its UNESCO World Heritage Site status with the rest of Salzburg’s Historic Center. Its Marble Hall, with its stunning architecture, makes it one of the most sought-after wedding venues.

Originally built in 1606, the palace was rebuilt in a Baroque style from 1721 to 1727 according to plans designed by Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt. However, after a fire in 1818, the palace was restored and its current Neoclassical appearance dates from around that time. 

Mirabell Palace is not only a visual delight, but also a place of historical significance in Salzburg. Over its 400-year history, the palace has served as the birthplace of a king (King Otto of Greece), the residence of an archbishop (Archbishop Maximilian Joseph von Tarnóczy), and even as the mayor’s office (and other government offices) after World War II.

Interestingly, did you know that Mirabell Palace was once called by a different name?Originally called Schloss Altenau, the palace was renamed in 1612 after a dramatic turn of events: Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich Raitenau, the man responsible for building the palace for his mistress Salome Alt, was deposed and arrested.

His successor, Mark Sittich von Hohenems, banished Salome Alt and her family from the palace and renamed it Mirabell, derived from the Italian words mirabile and bella, meaning ‘amazing’ and ‘wonderful’ 

View of Mirabell Palace's small parterre from the northern gate which is another filming location of the movie, The Sound of Music, in Salzburg, Austria
View of Mirabell Palace’s small parterre from the northern gate which is another filming location of the movie, The Sound of Music, in Salzburg

First Reason: The Sound of Music

Step into the world of the beloved classic, The Sound of Music, by visiting the lovely Mirabell Palace in Salzburg! Mirabell Palace (along with Old Town, Schloss Leopold, Schloss Hellbrunn, Nonnberg Abbey, St. Peter’s Monastery, Cemetery & Catacombs, and Felsenreitschule) is one of the filming locations of the movie.

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Western Facade of Mirabell Palace and the Pegasus Fountain (one of the filming locations of The Sound of Music ) in Mirabell Garden in Salzburg, Austria
Western Facade of Mirabell Palace and the Pegasus Fountain (one of the filming locations of The Sound of Music ) in Mirabell Garden
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More Information about the Sound of Music in Mirabell Palace

If you haven’t watched it yet, the Sound of Music is a movie that follows the story of Maria, a young woman who becomes a governess to the seven children of Captain Georg von Trapp, a widowed naval officer. Maria brings joy and music into the children’s lives, teaching them to sing and play.

The movie is truly beautiful, featuring scenic places and unforgettable music. It’s also a meaningful movie, inspiring themes of hope, happiness, and resilience during difficult times.

One of the most memorable scenes in the movie is when Maria teaches the Von Trapp children the song “Do-Re-Mi” in the beautiful Mirabell Gardens. In this part of the movie, Maria and the children dance and sing outside the Mirabell Palace. It features various parts of the Palace’s Garden such as the Pegasus Fountain, Hedge Tunnel, Gnome Garden, and Grand Fountain. Both the northern and southern entrances of the Mirabell Gardens are also shown in the movie. 

Second Reason: Wander-Worthy Mirabell Garden

I’ve searched high and low, and let me tell you, there’s no place in Salzburg that’s more gorgeous than Mirabell Palace’s Garden or simply, Mirabell Garden. It’s the most beautiful public park in the city, and if you’ve watched The Sound of Music, you’ll already know why! With its elegant architecture, baroque flower beds, sculptures, and fountains, Mirabell Garden is a lovely place that you won’t want to miss.

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Read: Features of Mirabell Garden + Photography tips

As you wander around the garden, you’ll see 28 Greek and Roman heroes and gods starting at the entrance and all the way into the palace. But that’s not all! There’s so much more to discover. Overall, Mirabell Gardens will give you a taste of architecture, art, and nature all in one place! Below is a summary of everything you can find in Maribell Garden and how you can explore it.

First off, when you enter the garden, you’ll be greeted by the “Grand Parterre”, which is very charming and one of the prettiest parts of the garden. You can wander around and check out all the cool statues of Roman gods and the big fountain with four statue groups around it.

Next, take a stroll to the court next to the main part of the Grand Parterre, where you’ll find a cute Papagena fountain and an Orangerie that you can visit for free. Don’t forget to check out the pavilion across from the Orangerie, which is used by the Salzburg Museum of Baroque.

Then, make your way to the “Small Parterre” located along the backside of Mirabell Castle and attached to the Grand Parterre. Here, you’ll find a fountain with an awesome Pegasus statue, featured in The Sound of Music! So, take a moment to imagine the Trapp Family kids singing around it.

Continue your stroll with the Trapp kids (in your imagination) down the hedge arcade from the Pegasus fountain. Near the hedge arcades, you can find a fun hedge maze with an 18th-century “Heckentheater” or “hedge theater”. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a performance in the summer. After strolling in the maze, head northwards to discover the new “Zwergerlgarten” or “Salzburg dwarf garden”, displaying intriguingly deformed dwarfs.

Climb up the stairway north of Zwergerlgarten to reach “Vogelhaus”, an impressive house with an iron grid dome used for displaying fascinating art exhibitions today. Finally, conclude your visit to Mirabell Garden at “Rosenhügel” or “Rose Hill” which you can reach if you continue walking northwards. It offers an amazing view over Small Parterre towards Salzburger Dom and Hohensalzburg Fortress that’s perfect for a photo op!

Third Reason: Iconic Picture-Perfect View

If you’re on the hunt for breathtaking views of Salzburg, look no further than Mirabell Palace! Nestled on the northern-eastern banks of the Salzach River, this magnificent palace offers a prime vantage point for taking in the charming sights of Old Town Salzburg and its majestic Hohensalzburg Fortress.

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The picture perfect views of Old Town and Hohensalzburg Fortress from Mirabell Palace's small and grand parterre, Salzburg, Austria
The picture perfect views of Old Town and Hohensalzburg Fortress from Mirabell Palace’s small and grand parterre
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Description of the iconic view of Salzburg from Mirabell Garden

With its wide-open gardens, you can simply stand in the center, gaze southward, and behold the awe-inspiring fortress towering over the elegant baroque buildings in the Old Town. And what’s even more remarkable? The garden was meticulously designed to create a visual connection with Old Town, providing visitors with delightful impressions and inspiring them to capture the moment with their cameras.

As you wander along the central pathways between the vibrant flower beds in both Grand Parterre and Small Parterre, you’ll notice that they perfectly align with the view of Salzburg Cathedral’s grand dome and Hohensalzburg Fortress. This creates leading lines and symmetry (photography compositional techniques) that result in truly stunning photos.

Fourth Reason: The Marble Hall

Architecture is another reason to add Mirabell Palace to your must-see list when visiting Salzburg. This Baroque masterpiece attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year with its impressive architectural features. From the elegantly-looking façade of the western wing to the “Donner Siege” central stairway with its marble, sculptures, and other artwork, there’s no shortage of beauty here.

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Continue reading about the architecture of Mirabell Palace + Discover Marble Hall

Amazingly, as you ascend the grand staircase of Mirabell Palace, you’ll be greeted by a stunning display of different Greek and Roman statues. Each one tells a chapter in the epic tale of the founding of Rome, which began in the palace’s garden. From Anchises, who bravely escaped the flames of Troy with his father and son, to Caesar and his infamous assassin Brutus, the stairway is a journey through history.

However it’s the Marmorsaal, or marble hall, that truly takes your breath away. It’s the highlight of the Mirabell Palace. This elegant and monumental example of Baroque craftsmanship features intricate golden stucco work, marble masonry, and statues. Marmorsaal is considered as one of the most beautiful places in Austria to get married. With the elegantly romantic appearance that you’ll see, you won’t wonder why.

Some even say it’s a quintessential representation of Salzburg’s Baroque style!

Fifth Reason: The Concerts in Mirabell Palace

Ever dreamt of attending a top-tier chamber music concert in a breathtaking historical venue? While there are several options in Salzburg, Mirabell Palace stands out as one of the best. It offers a unique and unforgettable musical experience in the city.

The palace’s magnificent Marble Hall, with its stunning architecture and distinctive charm, sets the stage for some of the world’s most renowned chamber music concerts. Attending a concert here means you’ll get to enjoy Mozart’s compositions live, all while soaking in the beauty of the Marble Hall. Your heart will be filled with emotion!

Interestingly, did you know that Leopold Mozart and his children, Wolfgang and Marianne (affectionately known as Nannerl), once performed in this very room — the Marble Hall? That’s why a concert at Mirabell Palace is such an overwhelming experience, blending history, music, and visual splendor.

For more information on the concerts, you can check out the Mozart Concert at Mirabell Palace. If you’re looking for a better experience at Mirabell Palace, I would suggest the dinner and concert combo. You can find out what’s on the menu for the dinner here: Dinner and Classical Concert at Mirabell Palace.

Visiting Information 

Planning to visit Mirabell Palace and its garden? If you’re coming from the train station, it’s just a 10 to 15-minute walk or a quick bus ride to Mirabell Palace. Before you go, though, please take note of these:

  • While most parts of Mirabell Palace are still being used as government offices and not accessible to the public, the most beautiful and interesting parts of Mirabell Palace like the Marble Hall, Angel Staircase, and its garden are open to the public, free to enter and explore. 
  • The Mirabell Garden is open daily from approximately 6 am until dusk, with partial closures during the winter months. Its Orangery is open all year round from 9 am to 4 pm, while the Hedge Theater and Dwarf Garden are closed during the winter months.
  • Lastly, although Mirabell Palace and Angel Staircase are open daily from 8 am to 6 pm, it’s important to note that Marble Hall is only open on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8 am to 4 pm, and on Tuesday and Friday from 1 pm to 4 pm.
  • Marble Hall may also be closed for special occasions such as weddings or concerts. You may find the most up-to-date news, announcements, and schedule changes on the official Salzburg tourism website, which is linked in the resources section of this post.

Resources

I hope you enjoyed reading my post about Mirabell Palace! If you would like to learn more about Mirabell Palace, here are some websites you can check out:

If you are traveling to Salzburg and need assistance exploring the city, please see the recommended tours below. They include Mirabell Palace and will provide you with a fun, convenient, and informative experience in Salzburg.

  • Original Sound of Music Tour of Salzburgbest for Sound of Music fans —this half-day tour visits Sound of Music filming locations in Salzburg and the countryside. See Leopoldskron Palace, Nonnberg Abbey, Lake Fuschl, Mondsee Cathedral, and Mirabell Gardens. Hear songs from the original soundtrack.
  • Salzburg 2.5-Hour Walking Tour: Mozart, Old Town & Morebest for travelers who love scenic views — Explore Salzburg’s heart: Mirabell Palace, Mozart Residence, Getreidegasse, and Old Town. Conclude with a panoramic view from Mönchsberg Hill.
  • Amphibious Audio Guided Tour on Land and WaterPleasant and unique experience —Take a unique amphibious tour of Salzburg, seeing Mirabell Palace, Mozart’s residence, Leopoldskron Palace, and more. Enjoy live commentary and an audio guide in 8 languages.

Hey there! If you’re staying in Salzburg for a couple of days or more, please consider using my partner’s hotel search and booking platform. It offers some of the best hotel deals in Europe! It’s the one I always use and the free cancellation policy always comes in handy for me. This is an affiliate link, however. If you book through it, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. It’s a great way to help WanderInEurope produce helpful content like this. Thank you for your support!

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Did you know that the Mirabell Palace Garden is just one of the spots where you can soak in the stunning views of Salzburg’s Old Town? You’ll want to check out my top five spots for catching the sunrise and sunset in Salzburg. Some of these spots are located in Kapuzinerberg, which offers a scenic hike overlooking the Old Town. Mönchsberg, however, is more than just a beautiful hike with a view of the Old Town – it’s also home to a museum and provides a unique views of the Alps. Once you’ve finished exploring the Old Town, you might want to experience some of Salzburg’s unique experiences. Or, you could take a day trip to some amazing destinations near Salzburg, like Hellbrunn Palace, Hohenwerfen Fortress, Saint Gilgen, or even Berchtesgaden in Germany.

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